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April 1, 1961

The Male Prepuce

Author Affiliations

Frankford, West Virginia

JAMA. 1961;175(13):1185-1186. doi:10.1001/jama.1961.03040130069027

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To the Editor:—  In an unsigned editorial (JAMA174: 1852 [Dec. 3] 1960), entitled "Epidemiology of Cancer of the Cervix," the author suggests that present evidence incriminating the prepuce is sufficient to justify a "demand" for immediate action. The exact type of action is not defined, but with over 95% of newborn boys already being routinely circumcised, it is obvious that nothing short of legal compulsion could achieve a higher degree of conformity. There will always be a few parents with enough faith in Nature, or in Nature's God, to reject the idea that the foreskin is just an unfortunate error to be hacked off promptly by our wise obstetricians. For several decades we have established a strict taboo against any objective discussion of circumcision—to question its value has become unthinkable. Some of ourleading pediatricians and urologists privately deplore routine circumcision but hold their peace—the cost in ill-will is too

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